Offcials revise SBG policies to improve student grades

Natalia Estrada, Editor

When teachers arrived back at the campus after the winter break, they had discussions to solve a new problem: more students than ever before were failing their classes.

The discussions centered around the school’s implementation of Standards-Based Grading (SBG) in almost every course besides advanced academics. Teachers and administrators said they believed the problem had to do with a perception problem with the policies for SBG.

Akins Principal Tina Salazar said the problem seemed to be that students believed that they could turn in their work at the end of a grading period with no penalty, causing students to procrastinate and not turn their work in time so it could be graded before report cards are due.

During the second week back after the break, Salazar announced a new set of policies to address the problems and she recorded a video shown to all students during advisory class.

In the video, Salazar explained that the reason for the new policies was the fact that students were not turning in their work because they thought SBG meant they could always turn it in late and not lose credit.

“I need you to do the work so I can move you to mastery,” Salazar said. “If you never attempt the work until the sixth week of the six weeks, where’s the revision in there? How do I actually get you to revise to mastery? What’s missing guys is the learning portion.”

The new policy will designate the final week of a grading period as revision week where teachers decide how to help students to increase their grades to the next level. However, teachers are only required to offer revision opportunities to students if they first turn in their assignments within a week from the due date. All assignments can still be attempted more than once as long as they have turned it in during that week-long window after the first due date.

The new policies require teachers to turn in at least one grade per week in the grade book so students can know their current level of mastery instead of waiting until just right before the grading period ends.

Teachers were asked to show this to their advisor upon changes to SBG policies. The policy was rolled out two weeks into the fifth six weeks.

“There will not be an exception for extracurricular students that do sports, dance, after school or any other activities because everyone is responsible for their work and also capable to do it in one week,” Salazar said.

Akins students have mixed feelings about the new SBG policy changes. Sophomore Maria Contreras said

“The most positive thing is that it makes teachers to not feel pressure because students are obligated to meet a certain time limit, a certain due date for work, which I think it’s good,” Contreras said. “But on the other side, I think that for the students who were not able to make up the work on the due date and have to do it in the last week of the six weeks it will be good for them.”